Late Night Rodeo

Those of you that follow me on Instagram (@laurelashtonw) saw that Chance and I had quite the adventure on Saturday night! My barn had a little party, after which we all rode under the brand new arena lights. The lights are amazing, it’s like day time in the arena. However, outside the arena was still very much night. I have never ridden Chance after dark, and being the highly sensitive and dramatic creature that he is, he got a little crazy.

He was wild eyed before I even got on…

It is always a little disconcerting when they look like that before you get on, right?

When I picked up a trot, it quickly turned into a canter, which quickly turned into crow hopping and head tossing! Someone said, “he’s a little frisky,” I replied, “yeah, I’m just going with it.” I actually stayed pretty soft, and just kept him going forward. I knew if I tried to control him too much, he would really come unglued. I don’t know how long we cantered/galloped/bucked. He would start to settle, then spook at something else. There were more horses in the ring than we usually ride with, but luckily, they all knew to stay out of our way! My trainer wouldn’t let me quit until he settled. He finally did, and I discovered that I have much better staying-on abilities than I realized. I guess all the yoga has been helping! Besides a tight lower back, I was fine by the end of it.

Once he gave me a quiet trot and somewhat quiet canter, I got off and we just hung out in the ring watching the others. Then he got a nice shower and went back to his pasture. I think that night was just what we needed. I needed to remember that I do know how to stay on, and that I can handle a wild horse. He needed to learn that acting like a psycho will not get him out of working and stepping out of his comfort zone. It was totally understandable that he was nervous, but he needs to learn how to work through his nerves. When I stay relaxed and quiet, he is able to do so. Also, I now know that if his hunter career doesn’t work out he could have a future as a rodeo bronc. And, hey, I wouldn’t make a terrible bronc rider myself 😉

Yesterday and today, Chance was back to his quiet summer self – thankfully because I am a bit tired from the holiday weekend! Now we just have to get ready for the horse show this month. I am thinking that if we can survive riding at night, with several other horses and fireworks going off in the distance, we can survive a horse show!

Have a great week, everyone!


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